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Because I may have been both one and t'other in my day, for aught that you know,' replied Wildrake. * But, oddsfish! is it necessary I should always be reminding you, that our obligation of mutual protection, our league of offensive and defensive, as I may call it, was to be carried into effect without reference to the politics or religion of the party protected, or the least obligation on him to conform to those of his friend?'
" True,' said Everard;' but with this most necessary qualification, that the party should submit to such outward conformity to the times as should make it more easy and safe for his friend to be of service to him. Now, you are perpetually breaking forth, to the hazard of your own safety and my credit.'
'I tell you, Mark, and I would tell your namesake the apostle, that you are hard on me. You have practised sobriety and hypocrisy from your hanging sleeves till your Geneva cassock-from the cradle to this day,--and it is a thing of nature to you; and you are surprised that a rough, rattling, honest fellow, accustomed to speak truth all his life, and especially when he found it at the bottom of a flask, cannot be so perfect a prig as thyself.- Zooks! there is no equality betwixt us-A trained diver might as well, because he can retain his breath for ten minutes with out inconvenience, upbraid a poor devil for being like to burst in twenty seconds-And, after all, considering the guise is so new to me, I think I bear myself indifferently well-try me!
Are there any 'more news from Worcester fight?' asked Everard, in a tore so serious that it imposed on his companion, who replied in his genuine character
• Worse! on me, worse an hundred times than reported-totally broken. Noll hath certainly sold himself to the devil, and his lease will have an end one day-that is all our present comfort.'
“What! and would this be your answer to the first red-coat who asked the question?' said Everard.
Methinks you would find a speedy passport to the bext corps de garde.
' Nay, nay,' answered Wildrake, ' I thought you asked me in your own person.-Lack-a-day! a great mercyma glorifying mercy-a crowning 'mercy-a vouchsafing--an uplifting-I profess the malignants are scattered from Dan to Beersheba-smitten, hip and thigh, even until the going down of the sun!' 'Hear you aught of Colonel Thornhaugh's wounds?'
. He is dead,' answered Wildrake, that's one comfort-the round-headed rascal!.-Nay, hold! it was but a trip of the tongue-I meant, the sweet godly youth.'
· And hear you aught of the young man, King of Scotland, as they call him?' said Everard.
Nothing, but that he is hunted like a partridge on the moutains. May God deliver him, and confound his enemies! - Zoons, Mark Everard, I can fool it no longer. Do you not remember, that at the Lincoln'sInn gambols—though you did not mingle much in them I think I used always to play as well as any of them, when it came to the action, but they could never get me to rehearse conformably. It's the same at this day. I hear your voice, and I answer to it in the true tone of my heart; but when I am in the company of your snuffling friends, you have seen me act my part indifferent well.'
But indifferent, indeed,' replied Eyerard; however, there is little call on you to do aught, save to be modest and silent. Speak little, and lay aside, if you can, your big oaths and swaggering looks-set your hat even on your brows,'
* Ay, that is the curse! I have been always noted for the jaunty manner in which I wear my castorHard when a man's merits become his enemies.'
You must remember you are iny clerk.'
Secretary,' answered Wildrake; • let it be secretary, if you love me.'
It must be clerk, and nothing else-plain clerkVOL. 1.8
and remember to be civil and obedient,' replied Everard.
* But you should not lay on your commands with so much ostentatious superiority, Master Markham Everard. Remember I am your senior of three years standing. Confound me, if I know how to take it!'
· Was ever such a fantastic wronghead? For my sake, if not for thine own, bend thy freakish folly to listen to reason. Think that I have incurred both risk and shame on thy account.'
• Nay, thou art a right good fellow, Mark,' replied the cavalier, 'and for thy sake I will do much-but remember to cough, and cry hem! when thou seest me like to break bounds-And now tell me whither we are bound for the night?
"To Woodstock Lodge, to look after my uncle's property,' answered Markham Everard: “ I am informed that soldiers have taken possession-Yet how could that be, if thou foundest the party drinking in Woodstock?'
• There was a kind of commissary or steward, or some such rogue, had gone down to the Lodge,' replied Wildrake; 'I had a peep at him.'
• Indeed?' replied Everard.
' Ay, verily, to speak your own language. Why, as I passed through the park in quest of you, scarce half an hour since, I saw a light in the Lodge Step this way, you will see it yourself.'
'In the north west angle?- It is from a window in what they call Victor Lee's apartment.'
· Well,' resumed Wildrake, I had been long one of Lundsford's lads, and well used to patrolling duty --So, rat me, says I, if I leave a light in my rear, without knowing what it means. Besides, Mark, thou hadst said so much to me of thy pretty cousin, I thought I might as well have a peep, if I could.'
'Thoughtless, thoughtless, incorrigible young man -to what dangers do you expose yourself and your friends, in mere wantonness!~But go on!'
* By this fair moonshine, I believe thou art jealous, Mark Everard!' replied his gay companion; 'there is no occasion; for, in any case, I, who was to see the lady, was steeled by honour against the charms of my friend's Chloe Then the lady was not to see me, so could make no comparisons to thy disadvantage, thou knowest-Lastly, as it fell out, neither of us saw the other at all.'
“Of that I am well aware. Mrs. Alice left the Lodge long before sunset, and never returned. What didst thou see, to introduce with such preface?'
Nay, no great matter,' replied Wildrake; only getting upon a sort of buttress, (for I can climb like any cat that ever mewed in any gutter,) and holding on by the vines and creepers which grew around, I obtained a station where I could see into the inside of that same parlour thou spokest of just now.'
• And what saw'st thou there?' once more demanded Everard.
'Nay, no great matter, as I said before,' replied the cavalier; ' for in these times it is no new thing to see churls carousing in royal or noble chambers. I saw two rascallions engaged in emptying a solemn stoup
of strong waters, and despatching a hugh venison pasty, which, for their convenience, they had placed on a lady's working table-One of them was trying an air
a lute. "The profane villains!' exclaimed Everard, 'it was Alice's.'
• Well said, comrade-I am glad your phlegm can be moved. I did but throw in these incidents of the lute and the table to try if it was possible to get a spark of human spirit out of you, besanctified as you are.'
• What like were the men?' said young Everard.
"The one a slouch-hatted, long-cloaked, sour-faced fanatic, like the rest of you, whom I took to be the steward or commissary I heard spoken of in the town; the other was a short sturdy fellow, with a wood-knife at his girdle, and a long quarter-staff lying beside him-a black-haired knave, with white
teeth and a merry countenance one of the underrangers or bow-bearers of these walks, I fancy.'
They must have been Desborough's favourite, trusty Tomkins,' said Everard,' and Joceline Joliffe, the keeper. Tomkins is Desborough's right handan Independent, and hath pourings forth, as he calls them. Some think that his gifts have the better of his grace. I have heard of his abusing opportunities.'
They were improving them when I saw them,' replied Wildrake, and made the bottle smoke for it--when, as the devil would have it, a stone, which had been dislodged from the crumbling buttress, gave way under my weight. A clumsy fellow like thee would have been so long thinking what was to be done, that he must needs have followed it before he could make up his mind; but I, Mark, I hopped like a squirrel to an ivy twig, and stood fast-was well nigh shot through, for the noise alarmed them both. They looked to the oriel, and saw me on the outside; the fanatic fellow took out a pistolas they have always such texts in readiness, hanging beside the little clasped Bible, thou know'st-the keeper seized his hunting-pole-I treated them both to a roar and a grin-thou must know I can grimace like a baboon
I learned the trick from a French player, who could twist his jaws into a pair of nut-crackers--and therewithal I dropped myself sweetly on the grass, and ran off so trippingly, keeping the dark side of the wall as long as I could, that I am well nigh persuaded they thought I was their kinsman, the devil, come among them uncalled. They were abominably startled.'
'Thou art most fearfully rash, Wildrake,' said his companion; we are now bound for the house---what if they should remember thee?'
• Why, it is no treason, is it? No one has paid for peeping since Tom of Coventry's days; and if he came in for a reckoning, belike it was for a better treat than mine. But trust me, they will no more know me, than a man who had only seen your friend Noll at a conventicle of saints, would know the same